This is a novel about the persistence of longing in which the twin lives of the title character blur and overlap. Bird puts her child on the bus for school and passes the day with her baby. Interwoven into the passage of the day are phone calls from a promiscuous, unmarried friend, and Bird’s recollection of the feral, reckless love she knew as a young woman. It’s a day infused with fear and longing, an exploration of the ways the past shapes and dislodges the present.
In the present moment, Bird dutifully cares for her husband, infant, older child. But at the same time Bird inhabits this rehabilitated domestic life, she re-lives an unshakeable passion: Mickey, the lover she returns to with what feels like a migratory impulse, Mickey, whose movements and current lovers she still tracks. With Mickey, she slummed and wandered—part-time junkie, tourist of the low-life—a life of tantalizing peril. This can’t last, Bird thought, and it was true.
Noy Holland’s writing is lyrical, fired by a heightened eroticism in which every sight and auditory sensation is charged with arousal. The writing in this book — Noy Holland’s first novel — is fearless in its depiction of sexual appetite and obsessive love. It sheds light on the terror of abandonment and the terrible knowledge that we are helpless to protect not only ourselves but the people we most love.